Students’ jobs affected by COVID-19 outbreak

As a result of coronavirus and Gov. Gavin Newsom’s March 19 stay at home order, many students working in food service, event security and retail have lost their jobs.

Erroll McMillan, an El Camino student currently pursuing engineering, has not been able to work as a security guard for Contemporary Services Company (CSC) ever since large gatherings have been banned.

McMillan has been covering events like comedy shows and concerts since November of last year.

“A lot of events they were having, like concerts at the Forum, have been cancelled. I don’t really have any hours to work right now,” McMillan said.

Although he’s not currently working, McMillan that he is still employed by the company. However, he explained that he has less money to go out and do leisurely activities.

“I wouldn’t say it’s rough but it’s different. I don’t have any money if I want to go out and get food and stuff or to go shopping,” McMillan said.

McMillan said that he is currently applying for other work at a few grocery stores in his area, along with applying at the Dollar Tree and CVS Pharmacy to supplement his previous income.

Claire Mahon, an undecided major, is an ECC student who previously worked at Mendocino Farms in El Segundo until the COVID-19 outbreak.

Mahon said she decided to give the rest of her hours to other coworkers who needed the income.

“I’m currently down to zero hours. I was down to working 10 hours a week but I decided to relinquish the rest of my hours to give [them] to people who are living paycheck to paycheck,” Mahon said.

Mahon said she used her income to cover her daily living expenses to pay for gas, her phone bill, car insurance and to buy groceries. She has not applied for other work but is planning on applying to grocery stores in her area to replace her previous income.

“I’ve heard that stores like Ralphs, Trader Joes, places like that are paying hazard payments [i.e] whatever their hourly pay is plus additional pay because of everything going on,” Mahon said. “I was thinking of applying to one of those places.”

Alec Froning, a kinesiology major focused on physical therapy, was working at Hollister in Del Amo Mall since July 2019.

Froning said Hollister is still paying him for the hours he would have been scheduled to work but his shifts were reduced from three to four shifts a week down to one shift a week.

Froning said he was going to earn a promotion to an entry level management position but the promotion was canceled due to the novel coronavirus.

“They [management] were talking about me getting a promotion. I was supposed to come in but then [coronavirus] hit,” said Froning. “I would be the one opening and closing the store and making the schedules for the other employees.”

Froning, who is on the ECC track team, said he some of his paycheck to help cover expenses for track.

“I’d spend it on spikes [running shoes] or I’d use it to buy food on a long trip for a track meet. It helped me pay for my [ECC] stuff,” Froning said.

Froning applied to a few different Costcos and three Trader Joes since he heard that they paid higher wages than other stores.

“After I called, one of the [Trader Joes] told me to come in but they said that they weren’t hiring,” Froning said.

McMillan said he is now not earning any money since he is completely unable to work due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“I don’t get paid if I don’t work,” McMillan said. “Since there are no hours to work, I don’t get any money.”